René Treviño: Stab of Guilt
February 17 — June 9, 2024

Alexander Jarman
Assistant Curator of Exhibitions and Academic Outreach
Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art
Hamilton College

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February 17–June 9, 2024

Curated by Alexander Jarman, Assistant Curator of Exhibitions and Academic Outreach

René Treviño’s first museum survey features over two hundred artworks from 2008 to the present, including new work created on the occasion of this exhibition. Treviño’s multidisciplinary practice encompasses a range of mediums and reflects personal inspirations as well as the artist’s research into Maya and Aztec history, Catholic symbolism, astronomy, pop culture, and queer theory to recast his heritage and identity in a new light. Recent explorations into sculpture have resulted in a suite of courtly robes embellished with faux jaguar fur and sequined patches, displayed with Aztec-inspired, feather headdresses and presented on a custom-built stage. Also debuting in Stab of Guilt are twenty mixed-media collages collectively titled Sunspots by Day, Asteroids by Night (2023), which incorporate imagery from nineteenth-century star charts made by C. H. F. Peters, Hamilton College’s first professor of astronomy. The series builds upon paintings in which Treviño merges historical Western views of the heavens with scientific perspectives of the Maya and Aztecs and his own idiosyncratic naming conventions. Other works include a grid of paintings comprised of circular images that, taken together, point to our commonalities across geography and cultures—ancient Aztec glyphs sit comfortably next to depictions of Greek pottery and Indigenous American folk art—as well as embellished paintings on leather, based on ancient codices and featuring a mashup of queer and Mesoamerican imagery. René Treviño: Stab of Guilt brings together an exuberant selection of works with wide-ranging themes that illuminate the artist’s colorful and complex aesthetic.

René Treviño (b. 1972, Kingsville, Texas) lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland. His work has been exhibited at the Arlington Arts Center (Virginia), Baltimore Museum of Art, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art (Wilmington), Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Baltimore), Pentimenti Gallery (Philadelphia), Wadsworth Atheneum (Hartford, CT), and White Box (New York City). Treviño is a Rubys Artist Grantee and a recipient of the Baltimore Creative Fund Individual Artist Grant and the Trawick Prize. He has been an artist in residence at AIR Serenbe (Serenbe, GA), the Creative Alliance (Baltimore), and the Fine Arts Work Center (Provincetown, MA). Treviño holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

The Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art’s programs are made possible, in part, with support from the Daniel W. Dietrich ’64 Arts Museum Programming Fund; the Johnson-Pote Museum Director Fund; the John B. Root ’44 Exhibition Fund; the Edward W. and Grace C. Root Endowment Fund; and the William G. Roehrick ’34 Lecture Fund. Additional support for René Treviño: Stab of Guilt has been provided by the Daniel W. Dietrich ’64 Fund for Innovation in the Arts.

Past Exhibition-Related Events:

Friday, February 16
1:00 p.m. | Virtual Tour of René Treviño: Stab of Guilt
Online Event
Artist René Treviño and exhibition curator Alexander Jarman will lead a live virtual preview of the exhibition on Facebook. Click here for more information.

Saturday, February 17
4:00–6:00 p.m. | Opening Reception of René Treviño: Stab of Guilt
Wellin Museum

Join us for an in-person celebration at the Wellin Museum with artist René Treviño.

Wednesday, March 6
4:30 p.m. | Artists in Conversation: René Treviño, Mackenzie Cooley, and Alexander Jarman
Hybrid Event: Wellin Museum OR Online via Zoom
For this in-person conversation, artist René Treviño, assistant professor of history Mackenzie
Cooley, and exhibition curator Alexander Jarman will explore topics related to Stab of Guilt. Watch the recording HERE.

Thursday, March 7
5:00–6:00 p.m. | Evening of Art for Educators
Wellin Museum
Join the Wellin Museum for an interdisciplinary, educational event for K–12 teachers and administrators, highlighting the exhibition René Treviño: Stab of Guilt. The program will include a conversation with the artist, art-making activities, and information about organizing K–12 school visits to the Wellin. This lively event will provide a forum for educators to connect with each other and learn more about the museum’s programs. Please RSVP for the event here.